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Culture and Tradition

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According to archaeological evidence from 400-200 BC the city life in the territories of the Illyrian tribe of Desarete had greater development. Part of this area is thought to include the Illyrian City of Zelencka. This city is considered by archaeologists as the one that gave rise to the current Corovode. This connection is based both on the objects found, including the large number of place names.

The city of Zelencka was built on the two sides of the river Osumi, connected together by the bridge Sharova, of which today are preserved columns, 1.5 m high. On these was then built the existing bridge, that still stands today.

From 200 BC, and continuing many centuries, the data on the continuity of life in this city is lacking. Only in 600 AD during the period of the barbarian slave invasions, this city is mentioned, but now with a different name: Cernovode (Black Water), today Corovode. Life at this time was organized in the castle above the city. From the Architectial point of view, the remains of this castle are similar to those of Berat and Irmaj in Gramsh and to the castle of Zgerdhesh in Kruje. Some of the most famous castles in the history of the territory of Skrapar are: the Castle of Lavdar of Dhores, Bregu of the Koronit of Bargullas and Prishta.

The traditions of city life in the castle and fortified dwellings of Skrapar have been preserved even until the present day. This castle was built in the same period of the castle of Tomorri. The castle of Skrapar was built on top of the Hill of Cerove which is opposite to the city, and is separated by the River Osumi.

Another indicator of the continuity of life in the Middle Ages to Skrapar, is the construction of the hamam. Typical of the area are the bathrooms Slatinje the village, 5 km south-west of Corovode. Slatinja is a village still inhabited where the bathrooms are kept in good condition. Scholars think that these baths are unique, not only Skrapar, but all over the country.

In the early decades of the fifteenth century the Turks had under control by Cameria Albanian territories in the south to the River Mat. All these territories were the Sanxhak Albania and Skrapar was one of the 10 ‘vilajete’ of this Sanxhak. The Ottoman occupation brought serious consequences for the population of Skrapar. Anyway, even during this period Skrapar had its development.

The Austrian historian Karl Patch provides some very important data related to this territory. In his notes he tells of a road that started from the city of Berat and after passing through a part of the valley of Osumi, turned to the east, in the Castle of Tomorri, cut horizontally in the valley of Tomorrica and ended in Korce.

The presence of an inter-regional road network and is confirmed by the presence of numerous bridges, that are characterized by solid technical construction. Because of their strategic importance mention the bridge Kasabash and Sharova.

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The Bridge Kasabash is rightly considered a cultural monument of great architectural value. It is thought to have been designed by the Kasemi, of European fame. This bridge is kept in good condition and continues to act as a point of connection in the area.

The Bridges of Sharova and Kasabash are built on the two branches of the River Osumi. They are located 1 km from the city of Corovode. It is thought to have been built around the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The construction of these bridges has facilitated communication in the neighboring provinces. Since then he has increased the flow of economic exchanges with the great centers of trade, especially Berat and Korce.

Places of interest

  • Historical Museum of Corovode
  • The Castle of Skrapar
  • The Castle of Prishta
  • The Bridge Kasabashi
  • The Bridge Sharove
  • The Bishopric of Hasan Seitaj
  • The Teqe by Backes

Religion
The population of Skrapar mainly belongs to the Muslim faith of the Bektashi sect. Around 99 per cent of the community identifies with the Muslium faith with others belonging to the Christian faith. For the bektashi centers for prayers, called Teqe, are located around the region. The most famous are the Teqe of Prishta, the Teqe of Kulmak and Teqe of Stenec.

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Skrapar has a full calendar of festivals of pagan origins, such as the pilgrimage to Mount Tomorri. These festivities are accompanied by rites of a humanitarian nature, understanding and solidarity between people. The largest festival, Kulmak, from the 20-25 of August annually, the people not only from Skrapar but by the entire Albania head to the mountain where they sacrifice a lamb as a sign of gratitude to the saint Abas Ali, the skin is left in Teqe, while the roasted meat is consumed or donated to charity. Another ritual that takes place in late February is the pilgrimage of the Holy all’Orma Abas Ali, near the canyon, at the bottom of the village Dhores; where chickens and hens are sacrificed in honor of this day.

Skrapar also has a local mosque which daily preforms formal rituals, and a small Church built in the middle part of town.